For a great number of years, vinyl, ceramic, hardwood, and carpet-covered flooring have been the most favored choices for house owners. Seldom has concrete flooring been preferred as it usually has an unfinished look. Not anymore. Concrete floors are now considered the most practical flooring surface because it is fairly inexpensive, extremely durable, and very easy to maintain. With this kind of versatile flooring, homeowners can choose whether they want to keep an industrial look or polish it for a more sophisticated veneer. There is no need to hire a professional floor polisher. With the right equipment, this step-by-step guide will help you polish your floor to a high shine. You will be astonished at how stunning your concrete floors can become.
- Prepare the floor for sanding. The first thing that you need to do is to clean the floor and get rid of any concrete nails leftover. Wash the floor with soapy water then hose it down to remove the detergent. Do this several times to be sure that your surface is clean. Washing the floor helps expose any cracks that you will need to fill in.
- Repair all the cracks and indentations. Using quick dry concrete or grout, fill in any cracks and major holes. To make grout, simply mix water and cement to make a thick paste. Push the grout or filler into the crack using a small trowel or a putty knife. Make sure that the filled surface is level with the concrete. Let the patched area dry for two to three hours then cover it with a plastic sheet. Let it dry for five more days before proceeding to the next step.
- Polish the floor using a sander. With an orbital floor sander fitted with the coarsest grit disc available, sand the concrete floor until you have removed all the rough imperfections. After one pass, sweep up or vacuum the dust or debris that you have sanded out. Repeat these steps until your floor is as smooth as you want it to be. Once all the major dents and bumps have been sanded down, replace the coarse grit disc with a finer one. Continue sanding, using higher grit discs after every pass, to further improve the surface of the concrete floor. Finish this step by applying a buffing compound on your floor and run the sander a few more times over the surface. Instead of using the grinding discs, fit your orbital sander with a soft buffing disk. This will ensure that all concrete residues will be wiped away from the surface.
- Protect the surface from spills and stains. After making your floor shine, it is advisable that you apply a waterproofing treatment or sealer to prevent it from absorbing liquids and dirt. Apply the solution using a paint brush or roller. Make sure that you keep the space well ventilated, as the fumes are highly toxic.
With periodic washing using a mild cleaner, your newly-polished concrete
floor will keep its shine for many years. The luster, however, will
dull in time, particularly in high-traffic parts. All you need to do is
buff the surface using a polishing compound. You can also make a quick
pass over the entire concrete floor with your orbital sander fitted with
a fine grit disc.